UCL Graduate degrees


Speech, Language and Communication Needs in Schools: Advanced Practice MSc

This MSc is a joint programme of City, University of London and UCL Institute of Education (IOE). It brings together speech and language therapists, teachers and other graduate school-based practitioners for collaborative study.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2019

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Flexible: up to 5 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 15 October 2018
Close: 26 July 2019

Tuition fees (2019/20)

UK/EU: See Fees Note (FT)
Overseas: See Fees Note (FT)

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website. The fee for this programme is set by and payable to City University.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class Honours degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required, as well as either a professional qualification in teaching or speech and language therapy or at least two years' experience in an educational setting working with children with speech, language and communication needs. Applicants who do not meet the direct entry criteria may complete an extended personal statement in order to gauge suitability for Master's-level study.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Visa information

Please see City University's website for visa requirements for this programme.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this degree

Taught modules address current research and debates on educational contexts and children's language; social, emotional and behavioural development; and needs. They also enhance students' understanding of research methods and skills in critical analysis, preparing them to undertake a research project in their chosen area.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (90 credits), either one IOE or two City electives (30 credits in total) and a dissertation (60 credits).

Compulsory modules

There are four taught core modules - two at the IOE and two at City University, and the MSc Speech, Language and Communication Needs in Schools: Advanced Practice dissertation. For the dissertation module students can choose to be supervised at either institution.

  • Concepts and Contexts of Special and Inclusive Education
  • Foundations of Research Methods and Applied Data Analysis (City University)
  • Language, Learning and Development (City University)
  • Social, Emotional and Behavioural Development

Optional modules

Students choose either one IOE optional module or two City optional modules to the total value of 30 credits.

  • Autism: Research and Practice
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Early Identification and Assessment
  • Cognitive Communication Impairments
  • Developmental Language Impairments
  • Literacy Development
  • Literacy Practice in Writing and Comprehension
  • Promoting Child and Adolescent Psychological Development
  • Psychology for Special Needs
  • Reading and Spelling Difficulties
  • Understanding Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia)

Visit the UCL Institute of Education website for more information, including module descriptions, which can be seen by clicking on the module title.

Dissertation/research project

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in one of the following:

A regular dissertation with a word count of 12,000-15,000.  

A research project in a journal format with a word count of 7,000-8,000.

Teaching and learning

Modules are taught in different ways: a conventional lecture-based approach predominates, supplemented by a variety of activities, for example, group/pair discussions, case study analysis, role play, the use of simulations. Assessment is by written assignments and a dissertation. Some assignments may require data analysis, or written work and a presentation.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

IOE Centenary Masters Scholarships

Deadline is 5 April 2019
Accommodation plus tuition fees (1 year)

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


This qualification raises graduates' profiles as specialists and leaders in speech, language and communication needs in the school setting. It is an advantage for teachers and clinicians seeking higher grade specialist and managerial posts. Graduates are also eligible to apply for a research degree (MPhil/PhD) and some research posts.

Please note: this MSc does not lead to professional qualification as a speech and language therapist or teacher.


Depending on their prior experience, graduates of this programme might expect:

  • entry into employment relevant to SLCN.
  • promotion, e.g. to a management position for students with several years' prior experience.
  • progression to higher degrees, e.g. MPhil/PhD for students with a consistently high academic profile.
  • to deliver training to other practitioners at their host institution.
  • publication in professional journals in the fields of language and communication for exceptional students.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The MSc in Speech, Language and Communication Needs in Schools: Advanced Practice will enhance the depth and breadth of your understanding of children's speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and how children's language needs intersect with different facets of their education, relating to policy, school systems and practice and co-occuring problems these children may experience.

This programme provides a springboard for fresh stimulation and reflection on support for children with speech, language and communication needs in a community of fellow students, practitioners and research experts.

There are opportunities within all modules to share theory and professional practice across the disciplinary boundaries of health and education. Participants explore the needs of children with speech, language and communication difficulties from a range of perspectives. The programme seeks to promote effective collaboration between educational practitioners and speech and language therapists.

Department: Psychology & Human Development

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"The outstanding postgraduate students that come to UCL make it an intellectually exciting and stimulating place to study. My research team primarily studies adults who are very skilled at comprehending language, with the longer-term aim of understanding how and why these abilities are sometimes impaired so that appropriate interventions can be developed for those individuals who struggle with language comprehension."

Jennifer Rodd

Speech, Language and Communication Needs in Schools: Advanced Practice MSc, Speech, Language and Cognition MRes
UCL Experimental Psychology

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

This MSc is specially designed for both teachers and speech and language therapists but can also offer advanced professional development for other graduate practitioners with experience of working with children and young people with SLCN.

Application deadlines

All applicants
26 July 2019

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Speech, Language and Communication Needs in Schools: Advanced Practice at graduate level
  • why you want to study Speech, Language and Communication Needs in Schools: Advanced Practice at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact information

Page last modified on 6 March 2019 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing